Business and Technology: 2018 and Beyond

In the growing technological horizon that confronts businesses, there’s a lot that needs to be examined. It can be tough to be in the loop for new demands and growths. Software and hardware standards have changed quite a bit over the years. Depending on what your company does, there are lots of options.

Software

The most important aspect for any company is having the proper tools. Not being equipped with the right ones can sink your performance. Luckily, the most basic tools to get you started are developed already. For example, there is software for managing workforce flow. With programs in this category, one can manage all the needs of the Human Resources department, including recruitment, payroll, scheduling and workforce efficiency. Since many of these can access the cloud, global businesses can more easily coordinate across multiple time zones.

To enhance collaboration among employees, there are programs that allow groups of people to work on, review and edit the same documents and spreadsheets. Suppose a company is working on a large proposal for a prospective client that has John from Chicago, Nancy from London and Sam from Hong Kong putting the package together. Instead of working on three separate files, where someone would have to combine them all into one at some point, now they can seamlessly collaborate on the final product with new work, revisions and comments instantly available to each other.

Whether workers are simply in different departments scattered throughout a building or in locales spread across the globe, the cloud has streamlined the business world for the better.

Hardware

With the ability to more easily share work and data, your staff can be more mobile. We already have smartphones and tablets that have reduced the need for a person to be tied to their desktop and computers. Laptops, of course, have been around for decades, allowing us to take computers on the road and connect to our office via the internet. Now, we’re seeing the innovation of units that basically allow us to take our desktops along just as easily.  This could be invaluable to an advertising executive who can use these tools to make client revisions on the spot during a pitch.

In general, hardware has made remarkably rapid advances. Consider the 1960s and 1970s: computers literally took up entire rooms full of equipment, and were generally in use only with the government and large corporations. As we moved into the 1980s, we started to see desktop computers becoming more common in the office and trickling into our homes. It was just back in the mid-2000s that the now-ubiquitous smartphone made its debut. In order to stay ahead of the game, and more specifically the competition, you need to ask, “what’s next?” Well, here are three things to watch out for:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) — Processors that can learn and adapt to a user’s personality

Augmented Reality (AR) — A computer generated image visually overlaid on the user’s surroundings. For example, an engineer can oversee inspections and repairs of equipment by several field technicians from their desk.

3D Desktops — New technology that allows users to see their computer screens in three dimensions and navigate without the need of a physical input device.

One thing that history has proven about technology, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is it doesn’t stand still very long. The future isn’t likely to be any different.

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